Saturday, March 22, 2014

Final landslide/flood

Update 7:45pm
  Looks like the river is cutting a new channel through the landslide debris.  I'm seeing the river come up slowly with some color in it -- mud from the landslide -- and it looks like we're not going to get a catastrophic flood, which is good.  

 This same hillside apparently slide in 2006, but only caused minor flooding that time, no loss of life.    I drove home today looking at a bunch of homes that are placed on bluffs just like this one that fell, and I wonder how they are sleeping tonight.  

I had to take a careful look at the hills around my farm today.  This landslide started a half-mile or so from the homes that it eventually destroyed; it crossed a valley and a river and ran up the slope on the other side of the valley to get the homes and highway, and apparently did so very quickly. 

18 people still missing, 8 confirmed dead, lots of property damage.  Sad event.   

Update:  11:35 am
  
State patrol roadblock on road to farm

Disaster relief command center (antenna in center)

River showing a little bit of color.  Dog unimpressed

Calm

Media parking area in arlington

News van covering the situation

Farm equipment parked on high ground next to the road

Shiny bailer safe from the possible flood

Update 11:15 pm

Weather service says that the amount of water backed up, even if released suddenly, would not result in a catastrophic flood.  Makes me feel a little better.  

here's the quote: 

A LANDSLIDE BLOCKED THE NORTH FORK STILLAGUAMISH RIVER SATURDAY MORNING.
WATER IS BACKING UP BEHIND THE LANDSLIDE. SOME FLOODING IS LIKELY ABOVE
THE SLIDE...EAST OF OSO. THERE IS ALSO SOME POSSIBILITY OF FLASH
FLOODING BELOW THE LANDSLIDE IF THE BLOCKAGE WERE TO SUDDENLY GIVE WAY.

HOWEVER A RECENT MODEL SIMULATION BY THE NORTHWEST RIVER FORECAST
CENTER...AS WELL AS SIMPLE CALCULATIONS OF SCALE...SUGGEST THAT
CATASTROPHIC FLASH FLOODING IS UNLIKELY. EVEN IF ALL THE WATER BACKED
UP BEHIND THE LANDSLIDE WERE TO RAPIDLY DRAIN INTO THE LOWER RIVER...
THE RIVER AT ARLINGTON WOULD NOT COME CLOSE TO FLOOD STAGE. THE AREA
RIGHT AROUND THE LANDSLIDE MIGHT SEE SOME FLOODING BUT THERE IS SIMPLY
NOT ENOUGH WATER AT THIS TIME TO CAUSE MASSIVE FLOODING DOWNSTREAM.

Hoping that it breaks soon; this forcast may change if sufficient water does build up.  

Update 8:24pm


The river level shows a substantial drop in level very quickly; the river level isn't very high right now, the amount of water being impounded is approximately 5,000 cubic feet a second, and it's been being blocked since 10am this morning.  So call it 10 hours... roughly 180,000,000 gallons (one hundred eighty million) so far, and counting.

I still think that it's likely that the river will find a new channel and slowly cut a new path down, releasing the water slowly, but it could come all at once, and that would be bad.

5:30pm
Apparently the landslide up river has blocked 3/4 mile of the river channel and the water building up behind that dam has caused a mandatory evacuation order to be issued.  The fire dept came to the house and notified me.

I'm moving equipment and animals into the highest barn; moving 8 nursing sows and litters and 200 assorted other pigs.  It probably won't flood, but a bit of prep beforehand won't hurt.

The neighbors to the west, Paul and Vitaly, are evacuating.  No idea what Dale is going to do; her cars and truck are still parked around her house.

I did call Dale and told her that she's welcome to move stock into the big barn if she needs to.

I suspect that the water will overtop the landslide debris and slowly erode it, so the river will rise slowly, and I don't think it'll be a major flood when it does, but better safe than sorry.




3 comments:

curiousfarmer.com said...

Sorry about your troubles. I hate flooding.

George said...

Glad your farm made it through okay!

On another note, how do you like that Krone baler?

Bruce King said...

That's not my bailer; the local highway looked like a tractor dealer -- all of the tractors in the river valley moved to high ground on fear of flooding. flooding didn't happen there, but it gave me a glimpse of what the neighbors own.